A letter to... a holiday romance that changed my life

Anonymous
Composite: Sarah Habershon/Getty. Posed by models

I was a 26-year-old American travelling with my little sister to enjoy a week-long Greek island-hopping cruise. You were a 24-year-old Canadian on holiday, before your second year of medical school.

We both had way too many mojitos as we headed towards Mykonos on the first day of the cruise. About 30 of us got off the ship as a group to meander around the crescent-shaped island, while soaking up the late-afternoon sun. We downed more beers and danced away the remaining sunlight hours. I blacked out but came to at the dock, waiting to load back on to our cruise ship… but the dock was quiet and empty.

You and I sobered up, suddenly realising that we had been waiting at the wrong dock. Immediately, we ran across the island.

When we got to the right dock, breathless, we were met with a big iron gate, closed and locked with a massive chain. Beyond the gate was a dark void where the ship had been, only minutes beforehand.

You and I were stranded on Mykonos, without cellphones or passports.

We were strangers then. But after two days of intense emotions and the stress of trying to catch up with our cruise ship, we fell for each other.

You imprinted yourself on my soul. You changed my path for ever. You changed me for ever.

I was married when I arrived in Greece, and I came home knowing that I needed to get divorced if I had any chance of being the type of person I wanted to be. I think you felt an immense guilt for our affair, and so you chose to let me go from your life.

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I want you to know that every significant decision I’ve made from that point forward has been conscious and filled with peace. I got divorced, wrote a book about what happened on Mykonos, quit my job and travelled for a year and a half. I dived into Buddhism, moved to Seattle (the place I always thought I wanted to live), found a life partner, and had a child.

You are a thread through all of these elements, because none of them would have been possible without the intersection of our fates some seven years ago. I am and always will be eternally grateful to you, and I hope you know that. I know you were an upstanding person and will still be, so please, have no regrets.